LeBron James has heard every form of analysis at this point when it comes to the schedule. First, many said it was too compressed. This year, folks say that it’s too stretched out. This NBA season started two weeks earlier as the NBA attempted to lessen the strain of the 82-game season, limiting back-to-backs and four-in-five night stretches. However, to the league’s best player, there is no way around the inevitability of the 82-game schedule. No matter what the league does, there will always be some kind of issue with it, but he still gave the league credit for trying something new.
“There’s no great format, there’s no bad format, the schedule is what it is,” James told reporter. “Every other day, you got back to backs, you got three in four nights, I mean I think the commissioner and the scheduling committee did a great job of trying to figure things out this season. Given the conversation over the last few years, they thought this was what best fits. I’m okay with it, I’ve been okay with it. I’ve never had a problem with the schedule. It doesn’t bother me so, we’ve been every other year for the last four weeks and we’re every other day until April 6.”
The Bulls corrected course a bit after the 8-7 start and out-talented most teams for enough wins to enter the 1998 All-Star break at 34-15, a solid record, but very un-Bulls for that era. The two years prior, they were 42-6 and 42-5 at the break, running away with the top seed. Now they had triple the losses and trailed the Pacers in the standings. Sound familiar? That’s the arc of these Warriors, who went a slump-free, NBA-best 48-4 and 47-9 before the break the past two seasons, but now sit a noticeable tier lower, 44-14 after four recent losses, trailing the Rockets in the standings. “By far the most needed break for any team I’ve ever been a part of — GM, coach, player, however many years that is,” Kerr said. “I’ve never felt a situation like this where it felt so necessary to get away for a little bit.”
Tell him the Warriors are not playing at their best because they feel the fatigue stemmed from appearing in three consecutive NBA Finals. Or that the Warriors’ ailments simply stem from needing to recharge during the NBA All-Star break. “It’ll be a great opportunity to go ahead and reenergize a little bit and get a little bit of time off. But I still find it difficult to hear how they’re tired. I’m hearing how guys are tired. Tired of what?” Barry asked incredulously. “They don’t play. The most that anybody plays is 36 freaking minutes. They travel on charter planes. I listen to all this stuff and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my god. These guys would probably be crying if they had to do what we had to do.’ It doesn’t make any freaking sense. How can you be tired playing 36 minutes a game under the circumstances they play with staying in beautiful hotels, getting fed right, getting a dietician and being on charter planes and all of the other stuff they have? I don’t even like to hear it. It’s ridiculous.”
Ailene Voisin: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters that the league is looking at scheduling a future preseason game in Mumbai because the facilities are improving. I am hearing the Kings would be one of two teams involved – probably 2019 – and that trip would include a game in Dubai.